Lisa Hendrickson-Jack is a certified Fertility Awareness Educator and Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner who teaches women to chart their menstrual cycles for natural birth control, conception, and monitoring overall health. In her new book The Fifth Vital Sign, Lisa debunks the myth that regular ovulation is only important when you want children by recognizing the menstrual cycle as a vital sign. Drawing heavily from the current scientific literature, Lisa presents an evidence-based approach to fertility awareness and menstrual cycle optimization. She hosts the Fertility Friday Podcast, a weekly radio show devoted to helping women connect to their fifth vital sign by uncovering the connection between menstrual cycle health, fertility, and overall health.
Her first interview:
Lisa reflects back on our initial interview when she talked in details about her breastfeeding journey and challenges with a baby who is tongue- tied. You can check out that interview by going to Episode # 105
Lisa’s entry into learning about her menstrual cycle and her thoughts on the basics of women learning about their own your menstrual cycle:
Lisa talks about having normal monthly cycles is a sign of health. When they fluctuate greatly, this means that this is unhealthy. Knowing this can be helpful to women when they are trying to plan a pregnancy. She really feels that this topic is not discussed with young women, our schools are not doing a good enough job and the resources available to us are poor.
In the year 2000 and she discovered Fertility Awareness in her first year of college. She had the resources at school to learn more about this. She attended groups and really began to learn all about fertility awareness. No apps in those days – she made herself a spreadsheet and charted her cycle the old fashioned way.
Understanding about how to prepare for pregnancy when taking birth control:
A lot of women are on hormonal birth control, but don’t necessarily understand how their whole menstrual cycle actually works. Lisa explains this in detail to help us understand the need to give themselves some time after coming off hormones before trying to conceive as there is a temporary period of time where your fertility is delayed that lasts 12 months to 2 years.
Knowing this, when you are trying to plan on conceiving, you learn you need to give yourself some time – 18-24 months in which you need to use alternative birth control. Surely some women get pregnant right after getting off the pill, but many take a long while, for these exact reasons.
The delay in conception, which might actually be normal, particularly after taking hormones, can send a mom into depression or thinking she is infertile, when actually she just needs to give herself more time. One would think this would be fairly common knowledge, but Lisa tells me that it is not and she had to dig to find out this information.
What would you tell a women, generally speaking, what they can do to prepare for conceiving:
Step 1 is give yourself a window of time – about 18 months to 2 years, to come off hormonal birth control, get to know your cycle
Step 2 – recognize that pregnancy and breastfeeding is a time in your life where the demands on our body is greater than any other time in your life.
It is also important to know that miscarriages are actually quite common. This helps you know that you are not alone. You can request a full nutrient panel so she can find out where she might have deficiencies lie and begin to get on a care plan.
200 years ago women were not taking vitamins. Years ago, when women had low iron stores they would have been instructed to eat organ meat because it has a high degree of absorb-able iron.
Ideal scenario: Deserve to have the knowledge. It is important to know that most of us don’t have it all planned out. Never too late. We all do the best we can do. But it is important to know the best case scenario because many of us go on to have other children. Come off birth control 18 months – 24 months when you are still actively avoiding so when you are not ready to have a baby, but you are wanting to start your family in 1 year to allow your cycle to recover. – Ideally!
We end by talking about the importance of having appropriate Iron levels as the needs during pregnancy are greatly increased.
This is the end of Part 1. In Part 2, we will get more into how your hormones can affect your breastfeeding and milk supply.
The offer I’ll be making is for a free chapter of the book: http://thefifthvitalsignbook.com/
..Women and Breastfeeding – Our Fertility Awareness and Body Literacy.
We begin by talking about some of my major annoyances I had as a breastfeeding educator when I taught classes for physicians and hospitals. I had little control over the slides that were shown and the info the wanted me to share.
We talk about some of the Breastfeeding Myths that for some crazy reason continue to survive and thrive. I would love to conquer some of these myths once and for you. Knowing that you are listening to this show today and will learn and share with others, makes me have a very happy heart.
Most women who are using birth control pills are just happy that this form of birth control helps them to avoid a pregnancy, but some don’t really understand how this affects your milk production.
We then get into other topics that you won’t typically find me talking about on this show. We talk about hormones and birth control and cervical mucous and the withdrawal method.
We even get into the topic of talking about how cool it is to empower young teenage girls about cervical mucous and how we can help them not be so shocked, so surprised that they are close to getting their first period. If they are in tune with their bodies, they will have a good idea that it is coming soon!
With that intro, let’s get right into the show –
Lori begins this discussion by sharing what happened when she taught breastfeeding classes at local hospitals. There were a few slides that her supervisor wanted her to put up and discuss during the class. Lori was interesting in talking about these subjects, but not wanted to teach what she was told to teach.
First slide said:
You cannot get pregnant for the first 6 months if you are exclusively breastfeeding –
Just not true. One of the major issues is that there is a lack of knowledge about what exclusive breastfeeding really is. This means that baby does not get milk from any other place other than from direct breastfeeding. This means that baby gets no other food or anything else in their mouth other than the breast. This means – no bottles, no supplements, no pacifiers. This also means that your baby has uninterrupted and exclusive access to your breasts and that you are following baby led feedings.
Second slide said:
You are going to lose all your baby weight in the first few months because you are burning up to 600 calories when breastfeeding. We have no way of knowing what your individual metabolism is, what your individual caloric intake is, nor do we know how many calories you will actually burn. I feel this information is quite misleading.
Next we discuss some of the common questions and concerns Lisa is asked about breastfeeding, their cycles and how to avoid a pregnancy before ready. She begins first by busting a few myths:
Let’s start off by saying that breastfeeding does suppress lactation to some degree, however,
There is this myth that everyone’s menstrual cycle is the same and that there is no specific period of time where women can say that they are going to be ovulating for sure.
You can get pregnant before you get your first period. Before you get your first period, you begin ovulating.
You get cervical mucous before first ovulation before your first period. When you are use to checking for this pre-pregnancy, checking for this and knowing what it means, this becomes second nature.
When a mom is not breastfeeding, she will tend to get her period back about 1 month postpartum.
When a moms is supplementing, she will tend to get her period back in about 2-3 months.
When a mom is exclusively breastfeeding, she will tend to get her period back in about 6-8 months
.In terms of being practical and learning what to do about birth control, if you wanted to use your cervical mucous and charting, If you have never used fertility awareness before, consider getting support from a trained professional.
Other types of birth control method, after they have had their babies and their body to themselves, some realize they don’t like how the hormones made them feel and want an alternative.
Identifying where you are in the spectrum with regards to your decision about conceiving, will help you decide which method is best for you. Are you interested in conceiving:
wait a while
not at allIt is helpful to have the conversation with your partner, decide on which method you would like to use and then it is really important to know how to use our method correctly and use it consistently.
Next, we had a great conversation about the birth control pill.
The birth control pill was designed to disrupt your endocrine system. and make you stop ovulating. If it didn’t disrupt the cycle, this means it would not work. This means it interferes with the normal menstrual cycle.
This puts you in an early state of menopause. It is not so simple. It is not so benign. This is an important health issue.
Knowing what the side effects are is very important. If you do experience some of the side effects that you are not happy with,this puts you in control about what you want to do about it.
Name 2 things women can do when they are breastfeeding, that they can incorporate into their health lifestyle, in order to prevent conception?
Fertility awareness is for different woman at different time of their lives.
Lisa shares her thoughts about option –
During the postpartum period and
Outside of postpartum – you can teach yourself fertility awareness and gain confidence so that you can use this all the time.
Example: Use the diaphragm, cervical cap and some will combine withdrawal method also which will help to increase effectiveness.
some condom combined with withdrawal
some use strictly withdrawal method. The research on this is inconclusive. For instance:
Is there sperm in a mans pre-ejaculatory
fluid or not?
Teaching young women about Body Literacy, where they begin by checking for their cervical mucous. They can have a heads up about when they are going to get their first period.
The Fifth Vital Sign – The Book
Something that is off can be a vital sign, a subtle sign that there is something awry with their health.
Learning about your monthly cycle is considered the fifth vital sign that you can use to determine your overall health. For instance, when your period is irregular, painful, non-existent, it can be a heads up to various other health disorders, such as thyroid disorder and blood sugar issues – just to name 2.
When young athletes are not having periods the reasons usually are:
over exercise, under nutrition, stress and possibly a combination of all 3. while some might be happy about not having to deal with the monthly cycle, it is of great concerns for many different reasons. Some of the main reasons young athletes are losing periods are:
combo of all 3This loss of period means bone loss and this means that she is actively loses bone mass increasing her lifetime risk of getting osteoporosis. This huge problem should be setting of huge alarm bells. However, many young girls are just grateful they are not getting their bothersome periods.
Lisa has done a fabulous job of helping us to understand why we should care about wanting to know more about our cycles and how having this information empowers us to have greater control over our overall health.
Your Online Breastfeeding Class
Learn how to breastfeed – Be comfortable. Be confident.
The learning continues well beyond the average breastfeeding basics class that is 60-90 minutes. In this class, we have over 15 hours of audio lessons, combined with many hours of videos to help support what you are learning. We cover breastfeeding and medication safety, what to do if your baby does not latch on, common breastfeeding challenges, tongue tie, premature babies, building a good supply, returning to work and pumping. Take a look at the list below and follow the link to the class page so you can see more specifics of what is covered. I want to ensure that we got you covered and that you have great support well beyond the newborn days.
- Using your pregnancy time to prepare for breastfeeding
- Tips on how to prepare your home for a newborn
- Specific details about the first 24 hours after birth.
- Exactly what to expect the first two weeks after birth
- What can you do if your baby is not latching on
- Common and not so common breastfeeding challenges
- What you can expect over the next few months
- Returning to work as a breastfeeding/pumping mom
- Pumping and storing your milk
- When to begin pumping and building your freezer stash
- How to make a smooth transition to postpartum life
- Lessons dedicated to partners and breastfeeding knowledge.
- Breastfeeding and the 1 year old
- Breastfeeding the toddler and beyond
- Tandem nursing
- Breastfeeding through a pregnancy
- Medication and mother’s milk
Once you register for the class, you have immediate access to:
- Audio Lessons
- Educational handouts
- Helpful checklists
- Our “members only” group
- Weekly group LIVE Q&A sessions
Gain confidence in breastfeeding.
Expert advice from Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC who has over 25 years of experience in maternal health and lactation. I will help you navigate the ins and outs of breastfeeding.
Listen anywhere and anytime. Imagine not having to sit in a classroom or stare at a screen. You can learn all about breastfeeding while going for a walk, driving to work or running errands, traveling on a plane, train or bus. Because you can download the audios, learning is easy and convenient. Get ready to learn anytime whenever it’s convenient for you and your partner. You can be cooking dinner together and listening to the class. Perhaps relaxing together in the evening in your comfy clothes. You can learn together. Easy access to all class materials. Your class never expires. You’ll be able to listen and download the materials at your convenience.
You are not alone!
Once you are a student in the breastfeeding class, you have regular access to ongoing support for the whole time you are breastfeeding. You can have your questions answered by Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC, in our private group as well as our weekly live Q & A sessions. Just check out the Bonuses below to see how I provide you with ongoing support..
Exclusive Bonus #1
Immediate access to a private group for class students only. I will be answering your questions 5 days a week.
Exclusive Bonus #2
Invitation to join our weekly Q & A session with Lori and other students.
Exclusive Bonus #3
*If you are out of the area, use this link to schedule a Skype call
Do you have a question about the class before you purchase? Send it to – [email protected]
Register for the Breastfeeding class
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Subscribe on iTunes the All About Breastfeeding show HERE:
Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC
Lori Jill Isenstadt, IBCLC is a huge breastfeeding supporter. She has spent much of her adult life working in the maternal health field. Once she became turned on to birth and became a childbirth educator, there was no stopping her love of working with families during their childbearing years. Lori became a Birth doula and a Postpartum doula and soon became a lactation consultant. She has been helping moms and babies with breastfeeding for over 25 years. Lori founded her private practice, All About Breastfeeding where she meets with moms one on one to help solve their breastfeeding challenges. She is an international speaker, book author and the host of the popular itunes podcast, All About Breastfeeding, the place where the girls hang out. You can reach Lori by email at: [email protected] or contact her via her website: allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/contact
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